Saturday, November 17, 2012

Time to take stock of the garden

As the gardens are put to bed and the final potting is being done, I feel it is time to kick back and take stock of this last growing year. It is the season when all good gardeners should take a look back at their journals or notebooks and decide what was worth planting this year. If you don't have a garden journal, notebook or blog, I encourage you to start one. It helps you note the climate, the varieties of plants, when the insects or disease was bad and so many other things that happen in the garden.

As you can imagine, having a nursery I try and keep good records of what I planted and when. It sure helps when deciding what to grow for next year. I can see what varieties I have sold and what I am sitting on. Sometimes I am just plain stubborn and grow a variety that the public may not want but I am a fan of.

Right now, I think it is too late to do more dividing in the nursery, but I am making a list of what I'd like to divide and move or pot up for next year. The pulmonaria got scorched where I put it and the blue hostas lost the color in their leaves due to too much sunshine. The epimedium and liriope have gone to town and I can afford to pot up a bunch without losing my stock plants.

I also want to grow a better vegetable garden this next year. The tomatoes did well in their new spot and I think I can grow a few more things in pots without dog Griffin bothering them. I just read an article on how to best grow the most money-saving crops in your garden. I am starting to think this way more and more as I set my sights on bringing some of my produce to market. By growing my own vegetables, I like to think I am saving some money, rather than buying them from the store. Of course, knowing how they are grown and what I have used in terms of sprays on them is certainly priceless.

I really got into canning this year for the first time and want to make a better plan for that. I guess it sort of goes with the territory that you have to preserve the crop when it is ripe, but I had such a flurry of activity late in the season, I think I would like to spread the work out a bit more. I also think I need to jump on the produce when I first see it. I didn't get to can peaches as the crop was a miserable failure this year, same for the apples. So maybe I can do a better job at timing the work I do next year.

With all that said, I hope you can take some notes on your gardens, whether you grow flowers or vegetables. It so helps in the following seasons. But the most important thing to remember is to have fun while you are doing it. Never make gardening a chore.

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